When I was working as a front desk receptionist at a resort in Virginia, I occasionally would have the great pleasure of speaking with individuals visiting or calling from the United Kingdom. Aside from providing my auditory receptors (read: ears) with a much-needed break from the sometimes entitled accents of the local Virginia gentry, these conversations proved a welcomed change of pace from the usual American phraseology. I will, of course, trade a “uh…ok” with a “cheerio” any day of the week, especially when that day had left me with nothing in the way of being cheery about.
Such is why I love British people visiting America. Always happy and always upbeat, they’re grateful for any assistance even a stuttering, directionally challenged front desk employee can provide them.
I tell this little story because it is without question my greatest significant reason for purchasing Cheerios the cereal. Don’t get me wrong — Cheerios of all flavors and nutritional profiles are welcomed in my pantry, and none are truly revolting — yet in a world of cereal options, even offerings of chocolate and frosted really don’t scream “yo, buy me!”
But Peanut Butter and Dulce de Leche? Now we might be onto something. Spotting these brand-spanking-new offerings on shelves just the other day, I decided it was time to test whether the iconic brand could perk my interest in the same way the former Limey patrons of the resort could (and I say that with all the love only a military history buff can).
Dulce De Leche Cheerios
I first discovered the flavor of Dulce de Leche while making cookies my the same name with a friend of mine during my senior year of college. I distinctly remember the evening, as it was one of those wholesome Utah activities that only a born-and-bred Catholic east coaster like myself could interpret as a “wait a second, is this a date?” type moments. Nevertheless, what I remember of the cookies we made — with that sweet, slightly smokey caramel depth that comes from heating sweetened condensed milk — was awesome. As for the new Cheerio flavor advertising “rich caramel flavor and the goodness of Cheerios,” I have mixed feelings. On one hand, the taste does strike me a distinct in caramel flavor. Two types of lightly glazed Cheerios both taste of a deeper brown sugar than one usually comes across in cereal, and both pack a pleasant sweetness that is neither cloying nor restrained. Nevertheless, there is an off taste I associate with banana bread that has been left out on the table a day too long, and an altogether weird mesh of sweetness and not-quite-caramel flavor that strikes me as artificial. A lack of richness (see, no saturated fat) comes off as well, as does a lack of development in the depth of sugar. Decent, but probably not something I go out of my way for in the future.
- Price: $2.50 (on sale at Topps)
- Ranking: 5/10
- Chances I’d Buy Again: 15%
Peanut Butter Cheerios
Ladies and gentleman, I think we’ve just met a new member of Adam’s Top 10. I recently published my thoughts on another new Peanut Butter flavored cereal, concluding — amongst other things — that it did not live up to the current
gold brownish standard of Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs. Unlike the new Pebbles Boulder Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor, however, Peanut Butter Cheerios doesn’t try to match the often difficult to execute taste of candy in cereal form. Instead, Peanut Butter Cheerios (which comes in the multigrain flavor base) has the strongest peanut butter flavor of any cereal I’ve sampled to date. The ingredients paint a picture of five different grains (including Sorghum and Barley) but I only noticed three different colored O’s. Nonetheless, they have both a slight glaze and external coating, with a mouthfeel that’s more oily that most cereals, but not in a pleasent, honest-to-God peanut butter manner. It is, the be sure, peanut butter, pure and simple, and not just in flaor. Neither too salty nor too sweet (despite nine grams of sugar) its greatest asset is its simplicity. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but the choice not to flavor with HFCS and/or brown sugar keeps any “off” flavors from developing, while the multitude of grains makes snacking on the O’s very much like eating a homemade PBJ on a nice slice of oat bread. Not only am I loving the flavor, but at only 110 calories and no saturated fat per 28 grams, it’s healthy enough to please even the most stuck-up of food bloggers. Good stuff, for sure, and a must buy.
- Price: $2.50 (on sale at Topps)
- Ranking: 8.5/10
- Chances I’d Buy Again: 80%
I should have mentioned both of these cereals were eaten in a dry-run setting. While snacking on dry cereal is clearly my modus operandi when consuming toasted oats, the appeal of a flavor based around milk makes me curious how the Dulce de Leche actually fares in the drink. As for Peanut Butter Cheerios, I’m already contemplating the possible mix-ins to include with it in my custom cereal snack mixes. Chocolate Cheerios and Banana Nut Cheerios are obvious choices, as are anything with berry flavors (do they still make Berry Burst Cheerios?). In any case, I will highly recommend the latter flavor from General Mills, and report back if the addition of milk should make Dulce de Leche Cheerios any more appealing.
Check ‘em out: Cheerios.com